DELAWARE, Ohio — During a presentation to Delaware City Council Monday, representatives for the city’s only medical marijuana dispensary recommended that limits be put on additional dispensaries in the area.
Delaware City Council heard from Luke Beechum, representing Bear River Dispensary. That dispensary is located at 26 Moore St on the city’s east side, near the Point intersection. The dispensary was invited to speak at City Council Monday, as many in the community have questions about the business and how it operates.
Bear River Dispensary is one of a recent batch of new medical marijuana dispensaries who received new licenses in May or 2022. It’s the only dispensary operating in Delaware County. It’s a family-owned business.
Bear River often sees patients new to medical cannabis who are looking for more natural remedies for things like arthritis, fibromyalgia and even Parkinson’s disease, according to Beechum.
“Thanks to modern science, we’re realizing that these naturally current chemicals treat different things such as, as specialized as, gastrointestinal issues or sleep issues. It’s a really wide variety. And the science is moving very quickly in understanding and better helping patients,” said Beechum.
As fast as the science is moving, Beechum said that the industry is moving even quicker. He expects to see legalized recreational cannabis within seven months.
“And with that legalization and in that legislation is a tidal wave of new dispensary licenses that are going to be distributed throughout the state. Cities take different approaches to these dispensary licenses when they’re issued. Some are very welcoming, or at least not limiting to the dispensaries within their boundaries,” said Beechum.
Beechum urged City Council to take a cautious approach when it comes to new dispensaries in the city. He said there are several large multi-state dispensaries that are targeting Columbus and the surrounding area.
“Obviously, we don’t want any more dispensaries in the area. We believe that your goal is to kind of protect the family-oriented community image that Delaware has worked so hard to present,” said Beechum. “This is why we’re going to recommend that you can consider limiting the number of dispensary licenses within Delaware to be something along the lines of the state liquor store license.”
Council Member Cory Hoffman had some doubts about Beechum’s motives.
“So, you want us to protect your enterprise and yours alone, basically, it’s what it sounds like you’re asking,” said Hoffman. Hoffman explained that clearly Bear River benefited from City Council being open to a dispensary opening.
“So, I don’t know, that doesn’t sound like a good deal just to protect your guys’s income stream. I don’t know,” said Hoffman. “If we’re not limiting CBD, places, why should we just protect medical marijuana as opposed to let the market decide? And let the people decide which place sells it the best. And believe me, I’m very supportive. My father, he had shingles and he was kind of a cranky old man until medical marijuana has helped him alleviate his shingles pain. So I’m supportive of this industry, and I don’t see why we should protect your particular business only, because you guys were the ones who were able to get a license from the state and get into this market. “